Artist Statement

I make oil paintings of people in my life – ordinary people in the act of living, dying, rebelling, working – ex-husbands, ex-lovers, dead friends and colleagues. My intention is to imbue the work with a sense of each subject’s history, personality, and something of my connection with them. I’m intrigued by how people’s faces are etched over the years with stories of their inner-lives. Painted larger-than-life, the scale and direct gaze of the sitter regards the observer and invites personal interaction.

Using multiple photographs as reference allows me to edit expressions, freeing the work from realism and, in doing so, prioritizing the painting over the source. Reinterpreting flesh-tones as visible brushstrokes reveals evidence of my hand and helps to capture the subject’s age and character. Both expressionistic and recognizable as the individual, the portraits embrace the flaws that unveil personal endurance. These flaws illuminate the inevitable deterioration of youthful appearance giving weight to the image, revealing the imperfection that is at the heart of beauty.

Oakland 2012